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Travel & Tourism . Tourist Guide to the Country

Lebanon Travel Requirements

Restricted entry
The Government of Lebanon refuses entry to holders of Israeli passports and holders of passports containing a visa for Israel, valid or expired, used or unused.

A valid passport is required for 3 months by all, except nationals of Syria arriving from their country with a valid national ID.

A valid visa is required by all except the following:
(a)Nationals of Syria for stays of up to 6 months.

b)Transit passengers continuing their journey by the same or first connecting aircraft provided holding onward or return documentation and not leaving the airport.

The currency for Lebanon is Lebanese Pound (L) = 100 piastres. Notes are in denominations of L100,000, 50,000, 20,000, 10,000, 5000, 1000, 500, 250 and 100. Coins are in denominations of L500, 250 and 100

Currency exchange
There are a large number of banks in Beirut where international currencies can be exchanged. Unofficial money changers also operate and some hotels offer exchange services. US Dollars are best and do not need to be exchanged as they are accepted even in small shops.

Credit cards
The cards that are excepted are: MasterCard, American Express, Diners Club and Visa are accepted by airlines, hotels, some restaurants and larger shops.

Travelers cheques
A limited acceptance of travelers cheques are excepted in Lebanon, as major banks only accept certain types of travelers cheques. Travelers cheques also require up to 2 weeks to clear and are therefore generally not recommended.

Banking hours
The hours are from 0800-1230 (for money withdrawals) and 1230-1400 (for other services.)

Duty Free
The following goods may be imported into Lebanon without incurring customs duty: a)200 cigarettes or 20 cigars or 200g of tobacco, and
b) 2 bottles of alcohol.

Health care
a)A yellow fever vaccination certificate is required from travellers arriving from infected areas.
b)Health insurance is essential.

Getting There
By Air
The national airline is Middle East Airlines (MEA), which operates 9 direct flights per week from London to Beirut.

By Sea
The main international ports are Beirut, Tripoli, Jounieh, Tyre and Sidon. Cruise ships are available from Jounieh.

By Road
The international routes are via Turkey and Aleppo Homs and Lattakia in Syria along the north-south coastal road, and also the Beirut Damascus trunk road. Bus services are available from Europe.

Getting Around
By Road
Traffic drives on the right. Speed limit signs, traffic police and traffic lights are present but may not always be respected and driving, particularly in Beirut, can be quite unpredictable. As public transport is limited, roads in Beirut are overcongested.

Intercity taxis operate throughout Beirut and Lebanon. Travel is normally shared. Prices are negotiated in advance. Town taxis have red licence plates and an official tariff. There is a surcharge of 50% after 2200.

b)Car hire
Self-drive cars are available, but chauffeur-driven vehicles are recommended. An International Driving Permit and Green Card insdurance are required.

c)Public bus
Services are available in Beirut, where bus services have recently been expanded, although service taxis remain the most widely used option.

Social Conventions
Lebanese people are known for their hospitality. Handshaking is the normal form of greeting. It is acceptable to give a small gift, particularly if invited home for a meal. As far as dress is concerned, casual dress is suitable for daytime wear, except in main towns where dress tends to be rather formal. Smarter hotels and restaurants often require guests to dress for dinner. Smoking is common and acceptable unless specified otherwise.

In hotels and restaurants, a tip of between 5% to 10% of the bill is expected. It is not necessary to tip taxi-drivers.


Acknowledgements: ASIATRAVELMART.COM

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